There I was, sitting at my local coffee shop, utilizing my precious alone time to get some “work” done (read: any personal/professional emails replied to, and create a new business plan. And no, I’m not being paid for any of this “work,” but rather paying my wonderful sitter to watch my children, so I can accomplish these tasks) and I hear them. Sure, I shouldn’t have been eavesdropping, but in fairness, they were sitting right next to me having a rather heated conversation on the topic of hiring new employees. The first woman said, “I don’t want to hire new moms or moms of young children.” To which woman number 2 replied, “I agree, I imagine they are too busy and would be inconsistent and flakey.” The first woman nodded in agreement.
Woah, woah, woah.
My ears began to burn and my heart began to race. I had to take a few deep breaths (I tell my kids, “smell the soup, cool the soup”) and tell myself, “They don’t understand. Don’t interfere. Don’t make a scene. Maybe they aren’t parents.”
I stopped listening, but even if I heard this out of context, it was enough to question. Why would someone think this? Maybe they’ve had a bad experience? Maybe they are assuming stay-at-home parents (“SAHP”) don’t have the time or don’t want the time? Maybe they don’t want to work within the hours a SAHP can provide? Which is all fine and well and maybe those questions make it’s own case, but as a SAHP myself, I crave something that is mine and mine alone.
Now that I’m 3.5 years into the SAHP scene, I’ve also met and befriended others who have made the similar choice to leave the traditional business model of a 9-5 workday. Each one of them has the desire to do something more than just the stereotypical tasks of a SAHP. Maybe you stay home and are thinking you are completely happy and content. I say to you, “Yes! Good for you!” Maybe you are like me and you are ready for something more, but still want to be available to your little ones? I say to you, “Yes! Good for you!” There is absolutely nothing wrong with either choice. BUT if there are business owners out there with the mindset of the women mentioned above, I have some points I would like for you to consider. Of my friends who are SAHPs these people are also currently: bloggers (many!), fitness studio instructors, authors, consistent volunteers, interior designers, freelance writers, data entry personnel, social media managers, business owners, photographers, artists, graphic designers, licensed nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors… the list goes on.
To those who feel as though SAHPs aren’t people you’d consider hiring, here are some attributes that could be considered added value to your company. Don’t rule us out just yet.
I’ve never worked so hard in my life:
Yes, being a SAHP is the hardest job I’ve ever had. But you know what? It’s made me a very accomplished multi-tasker. I get 400% more done in one day now that I’m a parent, then pre-children. I often wonder what the heck I was doing with my spare time before I had kids. I can make a meal for 4, clean the kitchen, meet the needs (which are endless) of two young boys, ages 3 and 1, schedule appointments, continue laundry, and answer emails all at the same time. I’m confident I’m leaving something out. Point being, SAHPs are hard workers. WE GET SHIZZ DONE. We have a finite amount of time and you better believe we utilize it.
We are probably up at all hours of the day:
You enter a special kind of club when you become a parent. This includes understanding what it truly means to be without the average persons 8 hours of nightly sleep. I mean, WHAT IS SLEEP? Yes, we aren’t getting consistent sleep, but something happens to a parent. You become use to it. It’s almost as if the body of a parent transitions to a new normal. I liken it to a superhuman power. Maybe we can’t work within traditional business hours, but I can crush work during the morning, before the kids wake up, naps, and from the hours of 8-1am. This is approx. 8 hours of child free time where I’m either awake and/or working on something else. We are super hero, no sleep, work crushers.
I welcome time for my brain to think about something else:
I love my children with all my of my heart. I do. And, I’d love to think of something else other than how to build a car-wash station out of legos, a fort, make a car ramp out of cardboard, or the best way to get a stain out of a white t-shirt (answer: stop buying white t-shirts, you’re welcome). I love the conversations I have with my kids. They are priceless. I would also like to converse and interact with adults. Preferably about something that has nothing to do with being a parent. I have more to offer than that of mom stuff. I love being a mom and I have other interests. We’re interesting!
We understand deadlines:
I mentioned this earlier and I’ll say it again, we have a finite amount of time and we know how to use it. My time-management skills are unparalleled to the pre-kids me. This sentiment rings true for all SAHPs I know. I’m betting if you’re willing to work within the hours SAHPs can give, you’ll be happy with the results.
We’ve likely held jobs before:
Many of the SAHPs I know once worked executive level jobs. Some are doctors. Others have more than one degree. 100% have held jobs before. We aren’t newbies to the business world. We are experienced.
While SAHPs are busy and maybe tired (that goes without saying, to be sure) we aren’t incompetent. More than likely, we are just the opposite. If we’ve reached out for a job, you can probably bet we have thought it through thoroughly and are willing to commit. We understand commitment. We understand what hard work means. Time-managing, multi-tasking, hard working, educated, experienced superheroes.